Philippine companies have failed dismally in the country’s first-ever Philippine Corporate SOGIE (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression) Diversity and Inclusiveness Index, a study pioneered by the Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce, an organization which champions LGBT contributions within Philippine business. The study aims to establish a quantitative baseline SOGIE Corporate Diversity and Inclusiveness Index across the top corporations as well as other small and medium enterprises in the Philippines.
Undertaken by research firm Cogencia through the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Philippines, the study surveyed 100 companies, which together employ 267,231 people. These companies are classified according to these broad categories: Philippine-based (those that operate mainly or are headquartered in the Philippines), Foreign-headquartered, BPO/BPS (Business Process Outsourcing / Services), and Government.
Only 17% of companies interviewed have policies in place against discrimination based on SOGIE. All are from BPO/BPS and Foreign-headquartered organizations.
Meanwhile, companies currently without LGBT-inclusive policies and benefits also expressed no interest in creating such company policies and benefits within the coming 5 years. “The results of this study are a wake-up call to all of us, not just businesses or professionals, but also our senators who are impeding the passage of the Senate Bill No. 1271, or the Anti-Discrimination Bill,” says Brian Tenorio, Chair of the Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce. “Our fellow LGBT professionals must be guaranteed their protection in the workplace, so they can positively contribute to their respective companies, without fear of prejudice or discrimination.”
H.E. Marion Derckx, Ambassador of the Netherlands Embassy in the Philippines, adds: “Keeping the benefits of diversity requires awareness and action from all sides – from employers, from employees and also from the government. Diversity is about inclusion. We welcome this research as a guiding instrument for all concerned, especially for companies, to see what aspects of businesses can be improved and how businesses can be more inclusive.”
To push for stronger action which will challenge Philippine businesses and fellow LGBT organizations to ensure LGBT diversity and inclusion in the workplace, the Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce is launching its campaign, #ZEROto100PH. During 2019, the campaign aims to get 100 Philippine companies to pledge their commitment towards LGBT diversity and inclusion, starting with SOGIE training in their workplace and revising their company policies to protect LGBT professionals.